Boogiepop and Others Episode 4

Boogiepop and Others Episode 4

VS Imaginator 1

The second arc of the Boogiepop and Others anime is here, and with it we’re introduced to the next antagonist(s), Imaginator. While the previous enemy, Manticore, represented a corruption of the evolution of humanity, Imaginator represents the alternate futures any one person might have.

I’ll be explaining what exactly that means in a later section of this review, but for now I want to focus on Boogiepop’s relation to Imaginator, as well as to the “others” in general because I didn’t feel like this was explained well in the first arc.

Boogiepop is a shinigami, which is to say an angel of death. For those of you who have seen Death Note (which is probably everyone), think of Ryuk. However, although she’s a shinigami and there are rumors that she’s the one who killed the missing girls from the Manticore arc, she’s not the kind of shinigami we typically think of.

Boogiepop doesn’t go around deciding when the lives of people are over, but that doesn’t mean she’s a hero either. As you may have figured out from the first arc, she serves to keep the world in check by defeating the various monsters which threaten humanity.

Now, I know that makes it sound like she’s a hero, but remember, she’s not, she’s a shinigami. Yes, Boogiepop saves the world, which is heroic, but she does so in a very unheroic way, which is by killing those who threaten the peace she keeps, and not bothering to save those who are essentially deemed unnecessary.

In her first encounter with Imaginator, Imaginator is controlling the body of a girl by the name of Suiko Minahoshi. During this encounter, Imaginator forces Suiko off the edge of a building, and then leaves her body to return to the rooftop to continue her talk with Boogiepop.

So, how does this show that Boogiepop isn’t a hero? Imaginator informs Boogiepop that there’s still time to save Suiko before she hits the ground, however, Boogiepop makes no attempt to save her. Boogiepop later tells Suiko’s friend that she was actually the one that killed her and that Suiko’s death wasn’t a suicide.

But, why didn’t Boogiepop save Suiko? Was it because she actually couldn’t make it in time? Was it because she’s a shinigami and there’s some rule against saving people? Was it because she truly didn’t care about whether or not she died? Or, was there another reason which we have yet to learn?

Asukai-Sensei

The next part of the episode introduces us to a new character, Jin Asukai. Jin works as a teacher and guidance counselor at a prep school for art students, and has a special ability which allows him to see into the hearts of others and determine what their lives are missing.

I should mention, however, that despite having this ability, he doesn’t seem to be one of the “others” like Imaginator, Manticore, or Echoes. Yes, he has a strange power, but he doesn’t yet seem to be considered non-human. Of course, this designation could change in the future.

Now, I’ll be honest, when we were first introduced to Jin I assumed he was going to be some sort of pedophile because his inner monologue was talking about how one of his students was still just a “bud” and hadn’t “bloomed” yet while the camera (his point of view) slowly zoomed in on her chest.

But, we later learn that he doesn’t just figuratively “see” what’s in people’s hearts, he can literally see their hearts in the form of plants inside their chests. Some people don’t have roots, some have thorns, and some are even missing flower buds, which is implied to be an important component.

Jin is then confronted by Imaginator out on the street, but he seems to be the only one who can see her. As it turns out, she too has a special ability (beyond that of being a potential future of a person) which is that she can see the burst of energy that occurs when a life ends.

Suiko "Imaginator" Minahoshi from the anime series Boogiepop and Others
Suiko “Imaginator” Minahoshi

Later that night, Imaginator appears before Jin once again, but this time she’s controlling Jin’s young neighbor. It’s at this point that a seed is planted within Jin that will change the course of his life. Imaginator shows him a vision of one possible route his future could take in which he becomes a serial killer who rips out the hearts of his victims (or at least that’s the imagery he’s shown).

A Killer is Born

Initially Jin rejects the possible future version of himself which he was shown by Imaginator, but he then begins to find himself thinking about it more and more. He has the ability to see into people’s hearts, but not the ability to solve the problems he sees within them, so is this his true calling?

However, he doesn’t come to a conclusion regarding this question until he runs into a former student of his who attempts to rob him. He recalls that he was unable to help her when she needed him most back when she was a student, and now she’s doing and selling drugs on the street.

This alone wasn’t enough to push him over the edge, but then Imaginator appears once again, this time taking control of Jin’s former student. Imaginator then proceeds to cut her own throat and leaves Jin to desperately attempt to save his former student.

In the end she succumbs to her injuries in Jin’s arms, and after he’s questioned by the police who say they knew about her criminal activities for some time, decides on his new life path. For now it’s unclear exactly what Jin’s motivations are, but my guess is that he’s attempting to clean up the streets of crime in his own twisted way.

He also hasn’t actually killed anyone yet, but he does capture three hoodlum boys and tells them that they’re going to become his guinea pigs, so we can assume they won’t be alive for much longer. It’s at this point that he also takes on the name of Imaginator.

It’s important to note here that while he takes on this name, he is not the same as the original Imaginator. His body isn’t being manipulated by her, but he’s instead serving as her proxy or disciple of sorts. Because having two characters called Imaginator may get confusing, for future reviews I’ll continue to refer to him as Jin.

Conclusion

Overall I think this arc is going to be much more interesting than the first one. The first arc included aliens, military experiments, and supernatural beings, and was pretty convoluted overall. While this arc still does have supernatural beings, the main focus seems to be on Jin and his role as a serial killer.

Honestly, I know this would fundamentally change the Boogiepop and Others series, but I really wouldn’t have minded if Boogiepop was the only supernatural being. I just find a crazed serial killer to be a more compelling antagonist than, say, a man-made reproduction of an alien that escapes from the military.

But, what did you think of this first episode of the second Boogiepop and Others arc? I’m sure a decent amount of people dropped this anime after the first three episodes, but if you’re still watching, do you think this arc is going to be better than the first?

If you enjoyed this review, then be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

Finally, if you’d like to help support DoubleSama.com then check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama for more information on the various tiers and their respective benefits. I’ve just added a new tier to the list and updated the benefits for the original three.

And, speaking of patrons, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for his contribution at the Heika tier!

My review of the next episode is available here.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami